Police: NE Rochester fire caused by arson

(ABC 6 News) — Rochester police and fire crews were called to a fire on the 300 block of 27 St. NE, around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18.

The fire was in the grassy area between a 4-plex apartment building and the garages nearby. Rochester police said there were household items on fire in the grass, and the fire spread to the garage.

After investigating, Rochester Police Captain Casey Moilanen said officers figured out that a man entered an apartment through a 2nd-floor window and began damaging things inside. Capt. Moilanen said the man threw furniture all over the apartment, wrote messages on the walls, put holes in the walls with a hammer, and threw household items out the window.

Because of the personal messages on the wall, and a history with the victim who lives at the apartment, police identified the suspect as 21-year-old Trenton Rudlong of Stewartville.

Capt. Moilanen said Rudlong also climbed up a balcony and entered an apartment on the third floor, where a party had been going on. The people in that apartment said he was carrying a hammer and had blood on his hands.

Later in the day, around 12:45 p.m., police said Rudlong showed back up at the apartment complex while the manager was there assessing the damage.

A police officer arrived and tried to arrest Rudlong, however Capt. Moilanen said Rudlong would not cooperate and was combative with the officer. The officer happened to be a K9 officer, and told Rudlong that if he didn’t cooperate, he would release his dog. The officer said Rudlong still wouldn’t cooperate, so he released the dog. He said that’s when Rudlong grabbed the dog and started to choke it.

Eventually the officer tased Rudlong twice, and got him to the ground right as other officers got there. The K9 was okay.

Officers brought Rudlong to the hospital and then later to jail. They said they found three grams of cocaine on him.

The person who lives at the apartment had an Order for Protection against Rudlong. He is now facing charges of 3rd-degree arson, voilating an Order For Protection, 2nd-degree burglary, 5th-degree controlled substance crime, obstructing the legal process, and damage to property.

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